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David Duncan- Sanctioned For Having A Heart Attack

June 22, 2015

A jobseeker had his benefits cut when a heart attack left him unable to attend his Jobcentre appointment.

David Duncan’s jobseeker’s allowance was stopped last week after the 58-year-old suffered a major cardiac arrest.

He was due to attend his appointment two days later, but finding himself under the surgeon’s knife as he had blockages cleared from his arteries and two stents fitted didn’t win him any sympathy from staff.

David told the Daily Record: “I suffered a major heart attack – but apparently that isn’t a good enough reason for missing an appointment at the Jobcentre in Dunfermline.”

 He spoke out about his ordeal on the day the Tories made it clear that things are only going to get worse for benefits claimants. You can read about some of the most ridiculous benefits sanctions here.

Brushing aside the concerns of tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets of London and Glasgow on Saturday to demand an end to the UK Government’s austerity programme, Chancellor George Osborne and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith vowed to push ahead with plans to slash the welfare bill by another £12billion.

David, of Dunfermline, has been looking for work since he was made redundant from his job in a bank just more than a year ago.

He had never missed any of his fortnightly Jobcentre appointments but his problems started on Saturday, June 13, when he suffered a heart attack at home.

He called the NHS and was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where surgeons operated on him as soon as he arrived.

David called the Jobcentre first thing on the Monday morning and was shocked to be told that because he wouldn’t be able to turn up for his appointment – and hadn’t filled out an online diary to prove that he had undertaken job searches – his benefits would be stopped.

The bachelor, who had planned to complete the online diary on the Sunday, said: “I was told if I was going to be unable to work for more than 13 weeks, then I would have to switch from jobseeker’s allowance to employment and support allowance.”

David spent more than an hour on the phone to the Jobcentre as he was forced to switch his claim to ESA.

He said: “The likelihood is that I will be better before the 13 weeks are over, and will have to go through the rigmarole of switching back to jobseeker’s allowance again.

“I don’t know if my application for ESA will be accepted – to be honest, it is stress I can do without at this time.”

He added: “Staff at the Jobcentre showed no compassion or humanity whatsoever.

“I don’t want anyone else to suffer what I have been through.”

Tory axemen Osborne and Duncan Smith yesterday insisted they had inherited a “crackers” welfare system from Labour in 2010.

Writing in a Rupert Murdoch-owned Sunday paper, they said: “It took many years for welfare spending to spiral so far out of control, and it’s a project of a decade or more to return the system to sanity.

“This Government was elected with a mandate to implement further savings from the £220billion welfare budget.

“For a start, we will reduce the benefit cap, and have made clear that we believe we need to make significant savings from other working-age benefits.”

The deluded pair even claimed the reforms would actually help people suffering poverty.

They said: “Welfare reform is fundamentally about opportunity and changing lives, supporting families to move from dependence to independence – a vital point, because without social mobility there can be no social justice.

“It is the right thing to do.”

But the real effect of five years of welfare cuts under the previous Con-Dem government was revealed by the shocking news yesterday that the number of children in the UK living in poverty rose last year – for the first time in a decade.

The Tory proposals, which include banning anyone under 25 from claiming housing benefit and restricting child tax credits to a couple’s first two children, were slammed by the SNP’s social justice and welfare spokeswoman Eilidh Whiteford.

The MP said: “The Tories have shown time and time again that they simply cannot be trusted on welfare.

“Their heartless cuts are hitting the working poor and vulnerable in our society hardest, including disabled people.

“The Tories are intent on balancing the books on the backs of some of the poorest families in the country.”

Whiteford demanded that the Scottish Parliament be handed more powers over welfare in a bid to protect Scots from the cuts.

David is just the latest in a long line of vulnerable Scots hit by the savage cuts to the benefits system.

Earlier this month, we told how Paralympic world record holder Kayleigh Haggo is set to have her mobility car taken from her – because benefits bosses say she is not disabled enough.

The 16-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer, of Maybole, Ayrshire, says if she
loses the vehicle, which is driven for her by mum, she will be unable to continue training as she can’t use public transport.

In March 2013, Jim Elliott, of Cambuslang, near Glasgow, was passed fit for work – despite suffering the onset of a heart attack during his 20-minute work capability assessment with Atos assessors.

And in November 2012, we told how the Con-Dem crackdown led to forces families such as that of Germany-based war hero Colin Smyth losing their child benefit.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said yesterday they were unable to examine David’s claims because the Jobcentre is closed at the weekend and they couldn’t contact the staff who dealt with him.

But he added: “Anyone who misses an appointment with good cause will not be sanctioned.

“This would include someone having suffered a heart attack.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. jeffrey davies permalink
    June 22, 2015 10:57 am

    I see nothings changed infact atos phoned me at home whilst I was waiting in hospital for that op wife told em in hospital ops then im not going to make that lovely wca you cant make these storys up jeff3

  2. June 22, 2015 12:22 pm

    Reblogged this on JSUKNEWS.COM.

  3. The Infamous Culex permalink
    June 22, 2015 1:56 pm

    Why is the DWP allowed to operate a state monopoly?

    Wouldn’t it be better run if it was opened up to competition in a free market, so that customers could choose which benefit payment agency they wanted to use?

  4. December 23, 2015 6:02 am

    Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.

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